Beth England of Chelsea Women leaning against the goalposts holding her WSL Player of the Month award for January 2020

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Beth England of Chelsea FC Women is presented with WSL Player of the Month for January. PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES

Chelsea FC blogger Tim Harrison
Chelsea FC fan and blogger, Tim Harrison

By Tim Harrison

Storm Ciara has made such an impact on football that Chelsea are thinking of signing her!

Chelsea Women’s weekend match against Manchester United at Leigh Sports Village was cancelled (“I was in Warwick services when I heard,” one fan said, sorrowfully) as gusty gales threatened to cause structural damage. No top-flight women's games went ahead.

It means Sunday’s FA Cup clash at Kingsmeadow against Liverpool assumes even bigger importance, with a huge crowd expected.

The teams drew in the league before Christmas at Tranmere’s boggy Prenton Park, when manager Emma Hayes condemned the state of the playing surface.

No such complaints about the well-tended sward in KT1 as Chelsea Women build up to their League Cup final at the end of the month with the stickiest away fixture on the horizon, at Man City on 23 February.

Beth England has been voted January's Player of the Month by football fans across the country, beating fellow Blue Guro Reiten, Man City's Ellen White, Lauren Hemp and Pauline Bremner, and the Toffees' Chloe Kelly. So far this season England has scored 17 goals for the club in all competitions, a feat that has also earned her January's WSL Player of the Month prize.

Meanwhile the men finally return to action after a fortnight’s winter break with Monday evening’s Chelsea v Man U clash at the Bridge too close to call; neither side enjoying any truly consistent flow of form.

Frank Lampard is still smarting from the injustice of the scoreline at Old Trafford on the season’s opening weekend, a 4-0 thrashing that gave the Chelsea board false fears about their new manager, and the United board false hope about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s future.

Will the loss of momentum from a two-week holiday play a part in deciding the outcome? A gritty clash is anticipated. Perhaps Storm Ciara came a week too early.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

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